May 14th, 2009
10:51 AM ET
9 years ago

Poll shows majority back Notre Dame's Obama invite

A new Quinnipiac University poll surveys Catholic voters.

A new Quinnipiac University poll surveys Catholic voters.

(CNN) - An overwhelming majority of Catholic voters say the University of Notre Dame should not revoke its invitation for President Obama to speak at the school's commencement ceremonies this weekend.

In a new survey released by Quinnipiac University, 60 percent of Catholic voters are against rescinding the invitation while 34 percent are for it. Among voters as a whole, 56 percent don't think the Catholic school should take back the invite while 31 percent do.

Some Notre Dame Students and alumni have expressed outrage the Catholic school invited Obama to be the commence speaker because of the president's views on abortion and stem cell research.

About 65,000 people have also signed an online petition protesting the address, saying his views "directly contradict" Catholic teachings.

The poll also surveyed Catholic voters' views on abortion compared to the population as a whole. Among the findings, according to Quinipiac:

-15 percent of all voters, including 13 percent of Catholics and 10 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be legal in all cases

-37 percent of all voters, including 37 percent of Catholics and 19 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be legal in most cases

-27 percent of all voters, including 28 percent of Catholics and 40 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be illegal in most cases

-14 percent of all voters, including 16 percent of Catholics and 26 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be illegal in all cases

According to an analysis from by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama in 2008, roughly the same percentage as those who voted for President Bush in 2004.

The poll surveyed 2,041 registered voters between April 21-27 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. joey

    I can't believe this is still an issue. Abortion? Really? Can't we move on to something more relevent? How about Euthinasia? I think that is a far more important issue than abortion.

    May 14, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Rick CT

    They should not rescind the invite to Obama. But this is a school and alumni group with a serious superiorty complex, so you never know what they'll do.

    May 14, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Greg

    I could see the university's point if he were speaking on the subject of abortion, but this is a commencement address. I would think that having tghe Present (any President) speak at your graduation would be a priviledge and not become a political football.

    May 14, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. rufus

    I am a catholic and I am against abortion. And I see nothing wrong with the invite to speak at Notre Dame. It should be an honor to have the President of the United States speak at your University. President Obama is a well educated man. I doubt he is going there to preach what he believes but to praise and honor the graduates . Do they feel his presence will change people's beliefs? Besides we will all be judged at the end, and not by anyone person here on earth.

    May 14, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Pat F

    Wow, that must be the First Sign of the Apocalypse: I agree with something that sniffit said.

    I completely agree, sniffit. Based on your moronic posts, there is certainly no evidence or reason to believe that you have a soul.

    May 14, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Lori

    I hope that the minority that is opposing President Obama receiving an honorary degree were also protesting George W Bush and other former President's from speaking based on their pro-death penalty stance. And I hope that they protested Bernhard Laws and the like that allowed certain priests to get away with molesting young boys for decades. Jesus came back for us to help those who are the most vulnerable in society (criminals, prostitutes, the poor and children). Where is the outrage when children are being abused, criminals are being murdered by our system, etc. from these same people. Think of the lives the President will be saving with affordable healthcare for children in America. But I digress... my point is catholics aren't a monolitic group. They can disagree on certain issues and agree on others.

    May 14, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. tendai kamba

    I would like to remind my fellow catholics that the bible says we should pray for our leaders, and it is God who puts those leaders in position of authority. Therefore if God instructs us to pray for Obama and was chosen by Him, why should we bar him from speaking to our community?

    May 14, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. dee-dee, NY

    Steven in NC

    Your true gender is Showing, Why is the women Responsable What about the Men Why cant they wear condoms.
    Every woman should have a choise, To or not to have a baby.
    even if she irrasponsable or NOT,
    MEN want to Make the decisions as to if Women shoud have abortions or NOT Bring me ONE MAN who had been pregnant and only then can A MAN make a decision for A woman

    May 14, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. gt

    you poor souls.....oh well, hell is not half full .....very sad some of the comments......

    May 14, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. wakeupamerica

    Why did the Reverend in charge of Notre Dame invite the President of the United States to speak at commencement if abortion was a moral issue for the university? C'mon, the uproar should be at the university Reverend who invited him, not at President Obama. I mean we're simply talking about commencement address. A learned school of higher education can't understand differences of opinion....geez. Abortion needs to be an issue separate and apart of politics.

    May 14, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. lamar of springfield,mo.

    If the president speaking is so bad then, they should cut every football player or athlete that feels the same way as the President. Selective beliefs are funny. It's okay to pay for a student's education that believes in abortion, but you had better not let them speak:( They are trying to figure out why they can't get good recruits.

    May 14, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    If everyone who was against abortion didn't have an abortion themselves, abortion rates would drop 50%.

    May 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Nika

    I am so sick of the Catholic church. They don't want people to practice birth control, they don't want priest to marry. They are against abortion, but have yet to stand up to and show any kind of remorse regarding the pedophilia and abuse of children that has been perpetrated for years, and is going to continue as long as you have these sexually deprived "holy men" in charge of the church. They really need to focus on saving the lives of the kids that are alive now, and stay out of people's bedrooms. I personally would have nothing to do with that religion. How in the world is a MAN "holy father", when the scriptures show that "no man is to call himself father but the one in heaven?" (Matt. 23:9) Did the church somehow skim over that little MAJOR commandment? Straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel...

    May 14, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Simmy

    Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners......He went to a wedding once, and turned water into wine......He 'palled' around with some who would be labeled 'unsavory' by our standards....Yet the President isn't worthy because a group of "One Issue Wonders" deem it so.....Exactly where do these holier than thouers fit on the God scale?

    May 14, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. John-Black Hills SD

    Many of us saw the interviews of the anti-abortion groups claiming President Obama is guilty of murdering children, these Christians have a mental problem. Today's religious zealots are like circus barkers who are selling myth for reality. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam will be a chapter in history books in the future that follows the pages with Greek Gods, Mayan Gods....of ancient civilization, and a new God will be born for future humans. Our great, great, great grand children will wonder in bewilderment how we made it, maybe we won't.

    May 14, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Dan, TX

    Notre Dame is a University, not a Seminary. Every biology class at Notre Dame teaches evolution as a scientific fact. Humans evolved from non-human primates according to biology professors at Notre Dame. Facts are facts. Get used to it.

    May 14, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Linda - Wisconsin

    What ignorant Reslugs refuse to understand is that they are not in the majority anymore and probably never will be again. young people don't like their backwards, prehistoric views anymore. Reslugs are dying out quickly.

    May 14, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. dmjakers

    We cannot allow our country to be hijacked by those who are caustic, vociferous and obnoxious. Those opposed to Obama's visit are loud, but they are a small minority, and the media should stop elevating and amplifying their tyrannical message.

    May 14, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Tabeth

    Why did they not protest the Irak war.
    The abuse of Priest
    And more.
    BO comes as the president of the USA and that is an honnor to a school!

    WHat a world

    May 14, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. GG 206045 Allin

    Who cares? Go or don't go. Why is this an issue? This is the kind of rampant small-minded stupidity that made me glad to leave South Bend after two years in that miserable little backwater.

    May 14, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ Mississippi Mike, who said "Those who do are the only ones that matter and they don't want any part of Obama."

    Those who do are the people who attend Notre Dame and its alumni...not ALL catholics.

    May 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. arithmetic is liberal

    Well, suprise, suprise. It was a very small and very loud soap bubble minority... I would bet that the majority of the 'no' people aren't Catholics at all, but those bitter little Protestants from the South.

    May 14, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. arithmetic is liberal

    Pat F May 14th, 2009 12:55 pm ET

    Not this Catholic. Obama can stay in Washington and "cling" to his own religion (Islam).

    Liar, Liar, pants on fire, Pat F.
    You said you were a Protestant a couple months ago.

    May 14, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Tabeth

    Behind it not Catholics but Rep and illuninati people

    May 14, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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